Drinking to excess
After falling off my bike and getting concussed the other day, I was recommended to avoid alcohol for six weeks. Since I want to give my brain cells a chance, I’m following that advice scrupulously.
However, I still like beer, so I’ve been trying out various low- and non-alcohol varieties. To qualify as alcohol-free in the UK, the alcohol level must be below 0.05% by volume. In the rest of the EU—and even in the puritanical US—the limit’s a more realistic 0.5%, which compares favourably with apple juice (up to 0.38% alcohol!) and has the added benefit of not tasting like soap.
Today, I bought some bottles of Carlsberg low alcohol lager. It tastes pretty good, and contains hardly any alcohol (no more than 0.5%). However, because it has more than 0.05%, it’s legally an alcoholic beverage, with all that implies. Including this ridiculous exhortation:
Enjoy responsibly?! What does that mean? At 0.2 arbitrary UK units, a man would have to drink over twenty bottles in a day to consume more than the official pulled-out-of-a-hat—I mean, based on rigorous science—recommended drinking limits.
If you drank six litres of water at a sitting you’d be pretty unwell, too.
Incidentally, the UK law is even stricter than some Islamic scholars!